Northeast Mississippi Community College head football coach Ricky Smither announced the signing of 28 athletes from around the mid-south on Wednesday, February 2 during a National Signing Day 2011 event held in the Magnolia Room on the Booneville campus.
Smither, who will enter his fourth season at the helm of the Tigers, picked up 23 athletes from the Magnolia State and added five from Alabama.
“We had some needs,” Smither said. “Our coaching staff got out and did a tremendous job of filling those needs. I feel that we got some of the finest student-athletes in the state.”
Smither landed a huge signing class from in-district as five New Albany Bulldogs agreed to become Tigers in 2011.
A trio of offensive players from New Albany agreed to join the Tigers while a pair of defensive players from the Bulldogs agreed to become Tigers.
Tyler Basil, a 6-1, 180-pound quarterback, Taylor Goode, a 6-2, 175-pound wide receiver and Collin Stubblefield, a 6-0, 290-pound lineman move from the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs over to the offense for the Tigers.
Shawn Smith, a 6-0, 220-pound defensive end and Kareem Brown, a 5-10, 180-pound defensive back each staffed the defense for the Bulldogs and agreed to join the Tigers.
Smither also was able to secure the agreement of Walnut’s Shaquille Perry, a 6-2, 215-pound running back, as Perry inked with the Tigers after a stellar career at Walnut.
Northeast also made a huge impact in the northwest corner of Mississippi landing five players from Hernando High School, four from South Panola and a pair from Center Hill High School.
Hernando’s Eli Canton, a 6-2, 235-pound linebacker, Phil Merriweather, a 5-10, 180-pound defensive back, Malik Sheppard, a 6-4, 200-pound wide receiver/defensive back, Brandon Dennis, a 5-11, 185 running back and Julius Black, a 6-0, 235-pound fullback all signed with the Tigers on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
South Panola’s quintet of Donnell Chapman, a 6-2, 230-pound tight end, Timothy Gleaton, a 6-0, 230-pound fullback, Dennis Draper, a 5-8, 175-pound defensive back and Carlton Howard, a 6-3, 270-pound offensive line each moved over to the northeast portion of the state.
Some of the first signees to come in National Signing Day 2011 were the Center Hill duo of Bradley Marsh and Robert Johnson. Marsh is a 6-1, 300-pound offensive lineman while Johnson steps in as a 5-10, 180-pound defensive back.
Smither also helped to bolster the Tiger offensive with signees from north central Mississippi as the wide receiver duo of Jamarius Tallie and Michael Bush from West Point agreed to become Tigers. Tallie measures as a 6-1, 170-pound wide receiver and Bush is a 6-4, 205-pound pass catcher.
Northeast addressed a need in the Tiger backfield when Starkville’s Garrett Smith, a 5-10, 175-pound running back agreed to become a Tiger and Calhoun City’s J.R. Jennings, 6-0, 180-pound signal caller also joined Northeast on Wednesday.
Smither was able to pick up five players from Alabama that are expected to make an impact on the Tigers in 2011. Northeast received notifications from Muscle Shoals (Ala.) pair of Dez Brown and Logan Stokes, Deshler’s J.R. White and Randy Foster and Cameron Hadley of Colbert Heights in Alabama.